Many readers have let me know how much they enjoyed learning about mountain lions in my new book, Reunited with the Cowboy. I’ve enjoyed learning about them too! It’s interesting to me, how much we think we know about a topic. I’ve read about mountain lions, I’ve seen them around my town and I thought I knew a fair amount about them. Yet when I started researching, it turned out I didn’t know much!
Thank goodness for the internet. There are so many great organizations out there, studying mountain lions. One of them, it turns out, is right here in my town. The Santa Cruz Puma Project.
Based out of our local university, this project tags and tracks mountain lions, trying to understand where they go in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They use this information to design policies and infrastructure to protect the lions. For example, after realizing many pumas were crossing a local highway at the same spot, they advocated for an underpass there, so the big cats could cross safely.
A vist to their website is an immersive experience. You can see maps of mountain lion activity and watch videos of the scientists tracking and tagging lions. Here is the link: http://www.santacruzpumas.org
By snooping in my Google search bar, Facebook recommended that I attend a local event, and for once their creepy information mining actually helped! The event was a slide show and discussion by a scientist named Jim Williams, who’d just written a new book called Path of the Puma. It was such a great opportunity to learn from someone who has spent his life studying these animals. His book is gorgeous and fascinating. I highly recommend it! Here is his website for the book. https://pathofthepuma.com
Plus, Jim was quite tickled to learn that I was writing a romance novel that involved mountain lions!
Another great resource was the Bay Area Puma Project. http://www.bapp.org. And Project Coyote also offered a lot of useful information.
I also read countless articles and research papers about mountain lions and their conflicts with humans. There were too many to recount here, but the Los Angeles times in particular has written some really interesting, in-depth articles about the struggles of ranchers and mountain lions. And I especially valued websites like this one, https://mountainlion.org/portalprotectlivestock.asp that educate the public on ways to prevent predator attacks on livestock.
I did so much research for this book that I could go on for hours. I enjoyed it all and continue to read every story that comes my way about mountain lions. If you enjoyed the lions in Reunited with the Cowboy, I encourage you to check out the resources I’ve mentioned, especially the first one mentioned, The Santa Cruz Puma project. Watch their videos at http://www.santacruzpumas.org/videos/ for an inside look at how scientists track mountain lions!
And as always, thank you for your interest in my stories!